The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) logo is displayed on a door at its headquarters on March 16, 2017, in Washington, D.C. President Donald Trump's proposed budget for 2018 seeks to cut the EPA's budget by 31 percent from $8.1 billion to $5.7 billion. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Monday, 03 Apr 2017 03:39 PM
Trump’s success will be judged not by what he does but by what he un-does and what he does not do. As the Trump administration wades through the herculean task of deconstructing the administrative state, a goal stated by chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon at the CPAC Conference, the country will respond with a surge of energy, a greater sense of individual freedom and growing prosperity. As President John F. Kennedy was reported to have said after signing the largest tax cut since World War II, a rising tide raises all boats.
President Donald Trump made his agenda clear when, as president-elect, he signaled his intent to sign an executive order that would rescind bad or outdated regulations by requiring federal agencies to cut two regulations for every one they enact. This will streamline government in the long run, save billions of taxpayer dollars, reduce the national debt and restore freedoms. We ought to encourage state and local governments to follow suit.
Trump is planning to take the scalpel to the regressive Dodd-Frank law which was a massive bureaucratic over-reaction to the mortgage meltdown of 2008, a law that has dragged down the economy by making it more difficult for lower-income borrowers to obtain credit and purchase homes. A Trump executive order gives the Treasury Department 120 days to issue a report that will determine whether such regulations comport to the “core principles” of growing the economy.
Trump is getting rid of decades of economy-retarding environmental regulations by cutting back of the size and scope of the Environmental Protection Agency, by approving the Keystone and Dakota access pipelines, and by rescinding regulations that hurt the coal industry. By removing over-reaching federal laws, environmental regulation, which will tend to return to the states where people are most affected by pollution, will be balanced by the overall need to advance job and service-creating industrial growth.
President Trump plans on cutting anti-business regulations by 75 percent, which will leave in place essential regulations while rescinding those that hurt the economy. These actions, along with the dismantling of Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, could lead to an era of economic prosperity that America hasn’t experienced since Andrew Jackson got rid of the national bank. Measures that reduce federal power, combined with constitutional actions that regulate imports and immigration, could launch an era that empowers and advances production and labor.
Trump was saved from his own dark tendencies when Congress failed to pass a healthcare bill that was nothing more than a weak imitation of the universally rejected Obamacare Affordable Care Act. Trump ought to apply the same approach to Obamacare as he is applying to other areas of regressive government overreach by quietly applying the surgeon’s scalpel. He should rescind and defund the law piece by piece. While this approach would not offer him the dramatic claim to success that he seeks, he will be credited when small businesses and taxpayers see their premiums and deductibles drop and when companies start hiring again without worrying about the onerous healthcare mandate.
Trump could start by ending laws that prevent insurance companies from offering policies across state lines and by stripping out most of the extra mandates for coverage now in the law. He could allow insurance policies to become portable to the employee switching jobs if they keep up with their premiums and by encouraging private health accounts with the interest-bearing funds targeted for catastrophic healthcare. If Trump carefully rescinds parts of Obamacare while cutting funding to such programs as taxpayer funded insurance for illegal aliens, one day we will all wake up and realize that Obamacare really is dead and that we are all better off.
President Trump, a natural showman, likes big headlines and his enemies like to trot out alleged failures when those headlines don’t materialize, but his success will be quiet and real. Those successes, which would trend toward greater prosperity and freedom, would be tangible to the American people. Those successes would have real substance as opposed to the alleged accomplishments of liberals who like to talk big and pass good sounding but empty destructive laws that they can trumpet through their propaganda outlets.
Chuck Morse is a radio host who broadcasts live Thursday's at 10 a.m. ET at WMFO-Tufts. Chuck hosts the podcast "Chuck Morse Speaks" on iTunes and Stitcher and his books are available on Amazon.com. For more of his reports — Click Here Now.